Flea and Tick Trivia – Part 2

As a continuation to my last trivia post, here are eight more flea and ticks questions to rack your brain. And guess what? We’ll have another giveaway. Good luck to all!

When you answer at least two questions correctly in the blog comments below, you will be entered to win this awesome basket full of Sergeant’s pet products (click on photo to enlarge). The winner will be chosen at random Monday, August 26. This is a two-part series with answers, comments and giveaways. Are you ready? Let the questions begin…

1. This is not the song, “Cat Scratch Fever,” however, Cat Scratch disease is real (transmitted by fleas) and causes problems to people. What percentage of cats may carry this disease at some point in their lives?

2. Hopefully, all of you are using flea and tick preventatives on your pets. If you miss their monthly treatment, what risk does this present to you, your dog, or your cat?

3. John Denver made famous a song entitled, “Rocky Mountain High.” Not related to the song is a disease called Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (tick transmitted). Other than people, which species of pet can this potentially fatal disease affect?

4. How many times can a flea bite your dog or cat in a day?

5. In my way of thinking, this is a very sad statistic and I hope you are not a part of this, but what percentage of pet owners surveyed do NOT give their pet some type of monthly flea and/or tick preventative at least 8 months of the year?

6. The Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) sets standards and recommendations for your pets to protect them from unwanted pests such as fleas and ticks.  With regards to fleas ticks, what does CAPC recommend?

7. Sometimes I hear comments from pet owners that they are occasionally using flea and tick preventatives on their dogs and/or cats but are still seeing these “critters” on their pet. What could (and most commonly) be the reason for still seeing fleas and ticks when preventions are being used?

8. This tick-transmitted disease can infect both people and dogs and is named after a city in Connecticut where it was first found. What is the disease?

__________

Fleas and ticks, UGH! Gross.  No one wants either of these parasites on their pets or themselves. We also DO NOT want any of the many diseases these pests can transmit. In my last post we were testing how insightful and how much you may or may not know about fleas and ticks. How do you think you did with the questions? Are you a flea and tick genius?  Let’s see. Here are the answers.

1. One of the most commonly diagnosed tapeworms in the cat and dog is Dipylidium caninum, sometimes referred to as the double-pored dog tapeworm.  This tapeworm is transmitted to your dog or cat by them ingesting/swallowing an infected flea. You may initially see tapeworms as what appears to be little, off white-colored grains of rice that are moving around your pet’s anal area.

2. This tick-transmitted disease is commonly called Bobcat fever or the scientific name is Cytauxzoonosis. The organism infects the red blood cells and causes high fevers, lethargy, anorexia, and anemia. Typically, this disease was diagnosed in the southeastern states but now is being found in more widespread areas, moving both west and north due to tick species adapting, and becoming more prevalent in other parts of the country.

3. Some species of ticks can produce as many as 22,000 eggs in her lifetime.  Wow, that is a lot of offspring! Can you imagine keeping track of all their names?

4.  Do you have a fear of spiders, scorpions, mites and ticks? If so, you have Arachniphobia. Do you remember the movie?  Ticks are in the Arachnida class of invertebrate arthropods.

5.  Commonly, the disease is called Cat Scratch disease or Cat Scratch Fever. It is caused by a bacterial organism called Bartonella henselae and it usually occurs from a person being scratched by an infected cat.  Usually, one would experience only a mild infection.  However, fever, severe headaches, swollen lymph nodes and, rarely, even more severe diseases such as meningitis can occur. If you get scratched, simply clean the area well.  In most cases this will be adequate to prevent serious disease.

6. The common bacterial organism that flea bites can transmit to cats and dogs is Bartonella henselae. This typically will not create any illness in your pets but can create problems in people if we are infected as read in the previous question (Cat Scratch Fever).

7.  Commonly called the “Plague” or Bubonic Plague or Pneumonic Plague, is caused by carrier fleas biting people. Typically seen in people who are exposed to wildlife that have fleas such as squirrels and rabbits.  This disease can cause enlarged lymph nodes (buboes), flu-like symptoms, rapid pneumonia, respiratory failure, toxemia, and death. Not a good disease to acquire.

8. The disease is called Tularemia. It is caused by a bacteria called Franciella tularensis. This disease not only infects people but sometimes cats, as well. People, if infected, can experience flu-like symptoms, exhaustion, abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, chest pain, respiratory distress, pneumonia, toxemia and death. This is a bad disease if not diagnosed and treated early.

9.  Some species of ticks can live/survive for up to two years after a blood meal.  Wow!

10. The answer is NO.  Hooray!  This is why it is so important to prevent ticks on our pets.

11. At some point in their lives up to 40% of our feline friends can carry the bacteria that cause Cat Scratch Fever.  That is a pretty high number.

12. This question may of been overthought by many of you.  The simple answer is that your pets may become re-infected with fleas or ticks and, the potential of infection with diseases these parasites transmit. We don’t want that to happen. So use flea and tick preventions properly to avoid these issues.

13. While Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever can infect people, it can also infect our canine (dog) friends. It is a tick-borne disease called Rickettsia rickettsii. Your dog can experience fever, lethargy, stiff gait, anorexia, spontaneous bleeding, respiratory distress, head tilt, and swelling of the extremities. The prognosis is good with early detection and treatment.  Decrease the risk by using tick preventions!

14. These critters are hungry and tenacious feeders.  Fleas may bite your pet up to  400 times in one day. That is an all-day buffet!

15. Based on surveys, more than 50% of owners are not using monthly flea and/or tick prevention products at least eight times per year.  Sad statistic.

16. CAPC (Companion Animal Parasite Council) recommends CONTINUOUS YEAR-ROUND PROTECTION!  Consult with your veterinarian on recommendations for the geographic area you live in.

17. The most common reason for apparent failure of flea and tick products is not the product.  It is usually non-compliance, by the owner, with either an incorrect product or misapplication of the product.  Many times we also see challenges with incomplete environmental treatment and control that leads to continued flea and tick issues.

18.  Yes there is a town in Connecticut called Lyme. First diagnosed there and hence the name, Lyme’s Disease.

Some tough questions. So, how did you do?  Was Dr. Google able to help you out?

If you got 0-5 right, just know that you need to keep your pets and family members protected by properly using flea and tick preventions.

If you got 6-10 right, you are pretty flea and tick educated and are probably already using flea and tick preventions.

If you got 11-15 correct. you are a flea and tick whiz and, no doubt, are using preventions to protect your loved ones from these parasites and the diseases they transmit.

If you got 16-18 right, you need to teach parasitology, and spread the word to others about the importance of flea and tick prevention.

Can you see a trend?  Some pretty scary stuff that fleas and ticks can transmit to our pets and other family members!   Prevention, prevention, prevention.  Hopefully, we all get this answer correct!

Even if you don’t answer the questions or only a few, bottom line is: Don’t let your pets go unprotected. There are many simple, inexpensive, and effective preventative options available to protect your pets and your family members not only from fleas and ticks but the many potential diseases they can transmit. See you  soon with the answers and some additional insightful and possibly scary information on these nasty parasites.

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